Are you struggling to stay alert in the morning? Research suggests you should try hitting the snooze button.
The results of two studies published in the Journal of Sleep Research last month suggest that pressing the snooze button multiple times over a period of 30 minutes can increase alertness.
In the first study, researchers identified the specific types of sleepers who are more prone to snoozing in the morning. In the second study, they delved deeper into the effects of snoozing on different aspects of sleep quality, cognitive ability, cortisol levels, and overall mood.
The first study, which involved 1,732 survey participants, found snoozing is “widespread, especially in younger individuals and later chronotypes,” and “morning drowsiness and shorter sleep were also more common for those who snooze.”
According to the findings of the first study, a significant number of survey respondents (70%) reported using the snooze function or multiple alarms at least on some occasions, with a higher frequency reported on workdays (71%).
The top three reasons for snoozing were “feeling too tired to wake up,” “it feels good,” and wanting “to wake up more slowly/softly.”
As for the second study, which involved 31 habitual snoozers, the researchers found that participants “performed better on three out of the four cognitive tests at final waking when they had been allowed 30 min of snoozing beforehand.”
These results suggest that “while snoozing did not clearly affect subjective sleepiness or mood, it may be beneficial in relieving sleep inertia and improve cognitive functioning right upon waking.”
The populations more likely to hit the snooze button are women, individuals lower in conscientiousness, and those who identify as “night owls” (later chronotypes).
The study additionally noted that 42% of adolescents struggle with waking up from sleep; however, with increasing age, this percentage tends to decline.
Ultimately, the researchers concluded that “the main benefit of snoozing may thus be a reduction of inertia directly upon waking.”
So go ahead, hit that snooze button guilt-free, and enjoy the benefits of a few extra minutes of sleep.